Feb. 17-19: Inclusion is focus of Humanities Week events

By Adrian Aumen, College of Arts & Sciences

foster-80PULLMAN, Wash. – Three free, public events highlighting the central and inclusive nature of the humanities will be held Tuesday-Thursday, Feb. 17-19, on the Washington State University campus and at Neill Public Library in Pullman. A reception will follow each event.

“Humanities Week 2015: A Humanities of Inclusion” (http://hub.wsu.edu/hpg/) features presentations by humanities faculty and specialists at WSU and by guest speaker David William Foster, regents professor of Spanish, women and gender studies at Arizona State University.

Roundtable delves into diverse topics

Six members of the WSU humanities community will explore with the audience a range of topics including emerging trends in filmmaking, immigration, globalization, gender issues and successfully working across disciplines within the academy. The roundtable is at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the WSU Honors Hall lounge.

“The goal is … to create a conversation around the problem of how to make all people feel welcome in the pursuit of knowledge and understanding,” said Christopher Lupke, WSU professor of Chinese and film studies and chair of the Humanities Planning Group (HPG), sponsor of Humanities Week.

Special guest presentations

Foster will present, “Three Founding Latin American Women Photographers,” describing three women’s influence on aesthetic modes for photography, at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Hecht meeting room at Neill Public Library, 210 N Grand Ave.

He will present the keynote address, “Marco Berger: Filming Queer Masculinities in Argentina,” at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in Goertzen Communication Building 21 at WSU. The talk will explore the collision of eroticism, self-discovery and contradictory feelings and values in the work of Argentine filmmaker Berger.

Humanities for all

Humanities Week is the centerpiece of public events sponsored by HPG to raise awareness across WSU and the wider community.

“In the old days, humanities had a sort of stuffy, elitist reputation – a privileged status in the academy associated with highly cultivated society,” Lupke said. “But all humans are part of the study and expression of human experience. In recent decades, efforts have been made on many fronts to bring together disparate groups and forge discussions – sometimes difficult or uncomfortable discussions – that hopefully will enhance our understanding of what humans do.

“Fundamental to the mission of WSU is that we are a public, land-grant institution that serves the people of our state,” he said. “HPG endeavors to … serve as a vehicle for bringing humanities scholarship and creative endeavors to the public forefront, on campus and throughout the state.”

More about the roundtable

The critical component of the roundtable discussion, Lupke said, “is bringing people together to discuss their ideas, experiences and research on LGBTQ themes to get a dialogue going – to provoke our audiences and ourselves to think and to communicate with one another.

“We are not looking for a resolution to the issues of culture,” he said. “If we were, we would be here for a long, long time.”

Francisco Manzo-Robledo, WSU professor of Spanish, will moderate the roundtable. Other WSU panelists are:
* Mary Bloodsworth-Lugo, professor in critical culture, gender and race studies. Trained as a philosopher, she will pose questions about the aftermath of 9/11, particularly in regard to race, gender and sexuality.
* Romain Chareyron, clinical associate professor of French who will examine the cinema of Xavier Dolan, a firebrand in Canadian film production.
* Ruby Kim, doctoral candidate in American studies who will explore the intersections of sexual orientation and Asian American racial identity.
* Melynda Huskey, vice president for student affairs who will speak about interpersonal interactions in the academy, particularly across disciplines and well-worn institutional divides.
* Nishant Shahani, who works in postcolonial literary and cultural studies and investigates the impacts of globalization on social and gender issues.


Christopher Lupke, chair, WSU Humanities Planning Group, 509-335-2755, lupke@wsu.edu
Debbie Brudie, manager, WSU Humanities Planning Group, 509-335-0698, debbie.brudie@wsu.edu